Derek Watkins, a British trumpet player who played on every James Bond movie soundtrack, has died aged 68.
Watkins, who American jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie described as ‘Mr Lead’, died at his home in Reading following a lengthy illness, his close friend and Brass Herald editor Philip Briggs announced.
Described by Briggs as “the foremost British Big Band trumpet player ever to grace the stage”, Watkins began his career at aged 17 and went on to have a long, varied career where he played with The Beatles, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and Eric Clapton.
A statement, released on behalf of his wife Wendy and their children Sean, Ellie and Sarah, read: “Derek died surrounded by his wife, their children…and grandchildren after a two year long battle against cancer. His great love for his family and his legendary trumpet playing as well as his gift of laughter and friendship will mean he will be remembered for generations to come.
“Wendy & family would like to thank everyone for their incredible support and outpouring of love for this wonderful man. He was amazed but very honoured to have received so many messages and also comforted by the knowledge that his trumpet playing and reputation will live on for future generations to enjoy and admire.”
Derek Watkins was best known for his work on every James Bond soundtrack from Dr No to Skyfall.